The Eton Wall Game is thought to be one of the oldest forms of football in existence. It began in the early 18th century at Eton School, in the UK. Originally it was a game for eleven players, but after the Second World War the number was reduced to ten, and it is played on a narrow 5 yard by 118 yard long pitch between an 11 foot high redbrick wall which seperates the schools playing fields from the Slough Road, and a field, known as Sixpenny.
The ball is tossed into play in a "bully", similar to a rugby scrum, and each team attempt to work the ball downfield without passing it forwards.The long narrow shape of the pitch makes this even more difficult, and most games seem to degenerate into a large heap of bodies against the wall itself. It was in effect a cross between a group fist fight and football, but the rules were tightened up in 1825 after the death of a pupil during an epic game which lasted 60 rounds over 3 hours.
Points can be scored in one of two ways, either by scoring a 'shy' where a player lifts the ball with his foot and touches it to the wall within the calx area, or by scoring a 'goal'. A goal can only be attempted after a shy has been scored. To score a goal the player must kick the ball at the appropriate target for the direction his team is playing. There are two goals: 'Good-calx', a doorway in the end wall against the college; and 'Bad-calx', which was marked by the badly weathered elm tree close to Fellows' Pond. Both goals were chalked, hence 'calx' a old word for lime. Due to the long distances involved, and the small size of the targets, goals rarely happen.
The Wall Game is usually played on certain days of the year, most notably St. Andrews Day, between the Oppidans ( who reside in the town) and Collegers (who reside in the school) but neither team has scored a goal since 1909
I have never been to Eton, or seen the Wall Game played, if any Old Etonians spot any mistakes, and know of any corrections please /msg me
Many thanks to theboy, an Old Etonian,who helped out with a couple of corrections